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HDD replacement and RAM upgrade questions

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#1 MJGray


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  • Local time:01:59 AM

Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:53 AM

I am completely new to this forum and so if I make a technical faux pas or terminological error, please be gentle.

I am currently running a Toshiba L650 laptop running windows 7 64bit home premium. Last week SMART monitoring advised of an immanent HDD failure. Upon verifying this with a drive analysis tool (WD Data Lifeguard) and running chkdsk /r I concluded that the failure was legitimate.

I have created an image of the drive and a system recovery bootable media. Since I was going to have to buy a new drive, I thought it might be worth shelling out the extra A$50 or so to upgrade my memory from 4Gb to 8Gb. I have never removed or replaced notebook ram and so thought it best to test the process to see if I could perform it correctly before buying the product. I powered off the laptop (I neglected to remove the battery but the laptop was unplugged), opened the case and followed my manual's instructions on how to remove the ram. As soon as I had completely removed this (ie the ram was in my hand) I replaced it and secured it following the removal procedure in reverse, replacing the stick into the same ram slot as before. I then closed the case and booted up the computer.

On booting, it reached the windows loading screen fairly swiftly, but lingered there and in the subsequent black screen before the log in screen. Entering my login credentials caused a wait of about 3 minutes before the desktop fully appeared and subsequent navigation in the file system was slow. I checked in control panel in system and windows believed it is still operating with 4Gb as before my uninstall and reinstall of the ram. Resource monitor reports a usage only 900Mb of the 4Gb windows recognises which is frankly low in my experience of 7. Rebooting the computer produced the same results.

I apologise if the above is too detailed but I wanted to ensure you had all of the relevant information. My questions are as follows:

(1) Has the failure to disconnect the battery during my ram removal experiment likely caused a problem with the motherboard or other non-HDD critical component?

(2) Is it possible my removal corrupted the 2Gb ram stick I removed and replaced? Is there a way to check? How do I avoid this if I replace my two 2Gb sticks with 4Gb sticks?

(3) Given the ailing status of the HDD is it probable that the slowness of the computer is caused by this and not some error on my part?

(4) A question regarding the selection of replacement RAM; I am currently running toshiba standard, DDR3 2Gb 1066Hz PC3-8500 SODIMM sticks. I intended to replace these with Corsair 4Gb 1066Hz PC3-8500 SODIMM DDR3 sticks (see here for product description from supplier). Are there any technical objections to this course? Is it sufficient to match the current ram specs in every detail but space capacity or is there some compatibility requirement beyond this? If so, how do I obtain this information?

(5) Lastly, I intended to replace the ram and the HDD simultaneously and image the HDD on start up from bootable recovery media. Is there any technical objection to this course? Will the bios be able to cope with both replacements simultaneously or is it better to replace one before the other?

Sorry if that is too detailed but I wanted to be precise. Any help/information you could give me would me much appreciated.


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